This short piece, Prime Numbers: Rings of Gold by Brad R. Humphreys, professor of economics at the University of Alberta, from Foreign Policy, looks at some of the financial aspects of the Olympic Games. Among the highlights ...
- the IOC took in over $4.2 billion in the Salt Lake/Athens cycle, mostly from broadcast rights and sponsorship, and keeps an increasing share of the revenues;
- you really have to pay to play the Olympic hosting game: unsuccessful bids to host the games typically cost from $22 million to almost $50 million;
- the cost over-runs in host countries are huge; and
- although it didn't make it into the article, the IOC is a bloated bureaucracy with no oversight. As recently as 1964, the IOC employed 5 full time staff; in 2000 there were 113.
(HT: The Sports Economist)